Brooklynne Gabrielle Bates
UROP Fellowship: DCERP
Research Mentor(s): Dr. Alisa Perkins, Research Director, Dream of Detroit; Associate Professor at Western Michigan University
Research Mentor Institution/Department: Dream of Detroit
Presentation Date: Thursday, July 29th
Session: 5:30 – 7:00pm
Breakout Room: DCERP Showcase
My name is Brooklynne Bates, and I’m a rising sophomore double majoring in business and film television and media.
I had the privilege of working on a project that combines my passions for advocacy, media, and history and aligns with my values of cultural education and empowerment. Specifically, I was a member of Dream of Detroit’s Dream Storytelling Project, an educational initiative to share the oral history of African Muslim and African American Muslim community leaders in Detroit. Dream of Detroit is preserving these stories by creating a website, short documentary, publications, and an archive so that everyone can learn about the Black Muslim community.
Over the past two months, I worked closely with my mentor, Dr. Alisa Perkins, who is an Associate Professor at Western Michigan University and Research Director at Dream of Detroit. With her guidance, I have been able to help share the stories of ten Black Muslim leaders in Detroit. I have also had the opportunity to visit the Muslim Center in Detroit, meet community leaders and film their interviews, and edit video-recorded interviews.
These real-life experiences have taught me so much more about the Black Muslim community and the history of Detroit than a textbook could have ever taught me. I’ve learned that interviews and research don’t have to be perfect to be incredibly valuable. There are some things we don’t have control over, like whether or not a sports car loudly revs its engine right outside the building while we’re in the middle of filming an interview. We do have the ability to ask genuine questions, build camaraderie, and do our best to help the interviewee share their authentic self. Thank you.